Hello TWIF UK & Europe friends,
Welcome to the inaugural issue of This Week in Fintech UK & Europe! I am excited to be working with Nik and Osborne and focusing on the vibrant fintech ecosystem in the UK & Europe. Due to Brexit implications I couldn’t call this newsletter just “Europe” (kidding … but not kidding!). Sign up to our London Fintech Happy Hour!
What a time to be launching, with Revolut’s recent raise and Wise recently going public. There have been 35+ $100m rounds across the region in 2021 and 8 of those greater than $500m. Europe is increasingly becoming a hotspot for fintech! Some more data below showing the funds flowing into UK and European fintech.
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Editor’s Note: If you’re an early-stage startup founder raising equity or debt, I may be able to help - reach out to email@example.com.
Tweet of the week 🦉
There were 24 deals in the fintech space across the UK and Europe with a total investment of $2.15bn. Some highlights are below.
🇪🇺 Lunar raised a €210m Series D led by Heartland and included Kinnevik and Tencent. With the raise it’s rumoured to be a 🦄.
🇪🇺 HelloFlow raised $1.6m from PreSeed Ventures and Seedcamp
🇪🇺 Sorare raised a $532m round led by by SoftBank and included Atomico, Blisce and Eurazeo.
🇪🇺 Nethone raised a $6.7m Series A led by Atmos Ventures, ARIA Fund, Innovation Nest and Plug and Play.
🇪🇺 Liqid raised a $105m Series D led by LGT Group and included HQ Trust, Project A and Toscafund.
🇬🇧 Weavr raised a £7m seed round from Anthemis, QED and Seedcamp.
🇬🇧 LendInvest IPO’d this week on the LSE’s AIM market at a £250m valuation.
🇬🇧 Tide raised a $100m Series C at a $650m valuation led by Apax Partners and included Anthemis Augmentum, Jigsaw, Latitude, LocalGlobe and Speedinvest.
🇬🇧 Quantexa raised a $153m Series D from Warburg Pincus.
🇬🇧 Railsbank raised $70m led by Anthos Capital and included Outrun Ventures, Central Capital and Cohen and Company.
🇬🇧 Revolut is raising a £577m ($800m) round at a $33bn valuation led by Softbank and Tiger Global and advised by FT Partners. Over 5x it’s valuation from a year ago. (check out the long reads for a great piece on Revolut from Marc Rubinstein)
🇬🇧 Climate X raised a $1.5m in seed round led by Pale Blue Dot, A100x, Blue Wire Capital and Possibilian Ventures.
🇬🇧 Superfluid Finance raised $9m led by Multicoin Capital and included DeFi Alliance, Delphi Digital, Balaji Srinivasan, Ryan Selkis and Stani Kulechov.
🇬🇧 KodyPay raised $3.25m from Cognition Foundry and angel investors.
Challenger Banking 🚀
🇬🇧 The owner of Uswitch, Confused.com and Money.co.uk, RVU, is acquiring Mojo Mortgages as they expand their offerings to consumers and leveraging their customer relationships for cross-sell opportunities.
🇬🇧 Online mortgage broker Trussle Lab was acquired by Better HoldCo, a home ownership platform in the US.
🇬🇧 Starling Bank is marketing itself on 100 EV chargepoints from InstaVolt as it seeks to deepen its green credentials.
🇬🇧 Curve has partnered with Discover in Europe to let the card companies customers add their credit cards to the Curve app.
🇬🇧 Boubyan Bank has launched an Islamic bank in the UK that is Sharia-compliant.
Digital Assets ₿
🇪🇺 The EU is looking at setting up a dedicated agency to deal with crypto AML according to Reuters. A proposal wants exchanges to share details of who is making transactions as digital assets are not included in EU rules for financial services.
🇪🇺 The ECB has given the go-ahead to a two-year investigation into a digital euro.
🇪🇺 Regulators in Italy and Hong Kong piled the pressure on Binance in a week that saw its European payments processor, Clear Junction, to no longer process its transactions and Binance stopped its stock tokens offering which got it in trouble in Germany.
🇬🇧 UK’s Economic Crime Command, part of the Met Police, have seized £180m worth of cryptocurrency. This takes the top prize for the largest seizure of crypto, besting a £114m amount from just a few weeks ago.
🙌🏻 TWIF Take -Crypto skeptics point to the lack of visibility or traceability of crypto and its use in criminal enterprise. However Chainalysis data puts illicit activity figure around 1%. Using a publicly available blockchain might not be the smartest money laundering scheme!
🇬🇧 FTX is joining Copper’s ClearLoop settlement network to gain access to new institutional funds
🌍 Square confirmed it’s creating a separate DeFi developer platform and bringing together Seller, Cash App and Tidal for permissionless financial services, with a focus on BTC.
Traditional Banking 🏦
🇪🇺 Bank of Ireland launched video tutorials to help customers to use its digital banking services.
🇬🇧 NatWest is embedding a carbon footprint tracker into its customer mobile banking app to allow them to track the climate impact of their spending.
Fintech Infrastructure 🚧
🇪🇺 Tink have appointed former AWS financial services chief Rowan Taylor as their chief revenue office.
🇪🇺 Nordigen has launched a clever tool to connect your bank account to Apple’s Siri to find out your balance
🇬🇧 The Bank of England is considering new policy measures to combat stability risks with banks moving infrastructure to global cloud providers (read Big Tech!)
🇪🇺 Klarna has acquired social shopping startup Hero, brining the virtual shopping platform to enhance Klarna’s own shopping app.
🇬🇧 Money.co.uk reports that the average BNPL debt stands at nearly £250 per person and take 9 MONTHs to clear their BNPL debts.
🇬🇧 Mastercard is launching PayPort+, created by Form3, to allow better connectivity to the UK’s Faster Payments network.
🙌🏻 TWIF Take -Interestingly Mastercard runs the infrastructure behind the Faster Payments network after their acquisition of Vocalink in 2017. Given Faster Payments underpins Payment Initiation Service, part of Open Banking, there is likely to be a huge surge in traffic across Faster Payments which benefits Mastercard nicely!
Regulatory Corner 🔎
🇬🇧 The FCA slapped Lloyds Bank with a £90m fine for misleading customers with insurance renewals by telling them they received a “competitive price”.
🙌🏻 TWIF Take - In the insurance industry, it is well known that discounts are given to new customers and existing customers nearly always foot the bill through higher premiums in their second year and beyond. This is because most people are too busy or lazy to get a fresh quote and stick with the status quo. Insurance needs some attention from Look After My Bills. The notion of this type of service existing in the US is absurd for many reasons.
🇬🇧 The FCA has warned UK retail banks about weak AML controls as the regulator gets serious about improving its money laundering oversight. Areas of concern are “governance and oversight, risk assessments, due diligence, transaction monitoring and suspicious activity reporting”. What wasn’t an area of concern!
Longer reads 📜
Crypto scams are out of control, Again - Masha Prusso
Tether: the former plastic surgeon behind the crypto reserve currency - Kadhim Shubber & Siddharth Venkataramakrishnan, FT
Revolution in the Air - Marc Rubinstein
Square in Crypto/DeFi - Tom Noyes
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See you next week!